Hot Water Systems – What Type Is Best?
When it comes to hot water systems, it is important to consider the different types available to establish the best option for your home. Every home is different, and every family has individual needs.
There are several features that will affect your energy usage and budget. To help you understand which hot water system to choose for your home, these features are discussed below along with the different hot water systems available.
3 Features of Hot Water Systems
There are three important features to consider when choosing a hot water system:
- Energy Efficiency
Fuel is the source of energy used to heat the water and can be electric, gas or solar.
The size is important because you don’t want too much or too little hot water. The number of people living in your home will determine what size of system is most suitable.
How energy efficient the hot water system is will have an affect the amount of energy used and cost. Often it is a trade off between the initial cost of installing the system versus the cost of running it.
Types of Hot Water Systems
Solar Hot Water
A solar hot water system is the most efficient, environment friendly way of using hot water. Using the energy from the sun, this system has roof-mounted solar collectors to warm up the water, which then flows into a storage tank.
While this type of system can provide up to 90% of your hot water with no running costs and zero carbon emissions, there is a higher cost for installation.
Natural Gas Hot Water
This type of system is quite small and wall-mounted. It operates by heating water on demand as needed, instead of heating and storing it in a tank.
Economical to run, it can operate on natural gas or LPG, but may require installing a relatively large gas pipe to cope with the fuel requirements. Aside from this, the costs of running a gas hot water system are quite low. It’s a particularly efficient option for households of four or more people.
Heat Pump Hot Water
Heat pump hot water is the most modern and efficient way to heat your water. It works like a refrigerator, but in reverse by transferring heat from the outside air into water stored inside a storage tank.
This system is three times more efficient than conventional electric water heaters, saving you energy and money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The initial investment can be quite high, but it pays that back very quickly especially in households where a lot of hot water is used.
Electric storage hot water
Considered to be the least energy efficient system, electric hot water systems are generally the cheapest to purchase. However, their running costs can get quite expensive as a result of the high usage of electricity to run the system.
Electric hot water systems require little maintenance and are the easiest to install.
What Type Is Best?
As outlined above, there are various trade offs when it comes to hot water systems. You will need to consider these along with your individual budget and household requirements to determine the best one for your needs.
Whichever you choose, ensure it is the right size for your household, because there is nothing worse than having a cold shower in winter!